advice please


New Member
My difficult child is on the NCIC nation wide search for missing persons. I have spent the day trying to find out what happens when he is picked up. The beds in our facility for youth are full. PO says they have no where to put him, Sherrifs dept. says make them find a place~ I have spent the entire day going back and forth between the two and getting nowhere. He is selling drugs and I have found out using drugs as well. cocaine. I know from experience that you cannot help someone until they are ready for help. He is running from the police and living as he chooses. He cannot come back home. Does anyone know any other places I should check out? If I understand correctly if they find him they are only going to bring him home if the TWO beds our county pays to use in youth fac. are filled. I am getting nowhere with po and sherrif, they both claim not to know how the other office runs and are telling me conflicting stories. Anyone have advice? He will be 18 oct.28


Well-Known Member
Have you done a search thru your states mental health website for substance abuse treatment centers?

Call the state mental hospital and ask them for information. If all else fails, call the governors office or the state dept of children and family services.

I wouldnt allow them to bring them to my home because he was put in jail for running from a group home...obviously someone put him in a group home. Make that agency take responsibility for him. That is how I forced mine into a psychiatric treatment center when he was 16. Mine ran from a group home and I refused to all the hospital to release him to me. I told them I didnt bring him to the hospital and he wasnt in my care when he came in and I wasnt taking him home, he had to go to a psychiatric hospital. He went to the state hospital and from there to a psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 8 months. Best move I ever made.

I found calling the state level govt got the balls rolling.


New Member
I don't have much advice for you except maybe to check into your local state department of mental health and addiction services, if you have one. I know CT. does, but I don't know if all states do.
I hope they find him safe and get him into something that will help him. I'll be thinking of you. Please hang in there and remember, like you said yourself, he is living the life he has chosen. Don't get yourself too strung out because when they find him, they may already know where he's going.
Keep us posted. I'll check back in throughout the day and see if you heard anything.

saving grace

New Member
In my difficult child's case they would hold him in jail for a week or so while they looked for a placement. They very well might just hold him in jail. What about the emergency room detox at the hospital? In my opinion he is breaking the law by selling drugs and running. He should be in jail. You can refuse him at home and leave it up to them, let them find the place for him. BUT like Damit and KFLD said before you can call the Dept of mental health or substance abuse hotline or somehting of that nature and ask them for direction.

Sorry Heart, this is so hard. I am in a similar situation as you now and there isnt ANYTHING we can do, we can make phone calls, find placements etc... but like you said they will not get help until they want to.



New Member
I know you are grasping at straws at the moment and I have done the same thing. When my son was on shock probation and in a manic state, (I could see it coming), I called the PO to no avail. She couldn't do anything (or didn't know what to do or didn't care).
Your son is almost an adult in the eyes of the law and this will change everything for him. Unless the PO could make a judge force him into treatment, I doubt from the sounds of it that he would go willingly. If he faces drug charges at some point, maybe they will give him treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Keep this in mind if that day comes.
In the meantime I am hoping and praying for you and for your family. I know this is a very difficult time for you.


I've been in the same position but with a younger child. First, the missing person registry isn't going to help. Only way to find him is to get the local police to keep an eye out. I also took pictures to the neighboring town's police. I went out looking for cops on the street and handed out his picture. They don't actively look for runaways. And they don't pick them up just for being a runaway unless you've reported him which you obviously have.

Until Oct 28 I can give you some advice. After 18 I haven't had to face yet.

You have to tell the cops what you want done with him. You won't know that until they actually pick him up and then circumstance will partially decide for you. But right now, the cops aren't going to talk to you about it unless you have a relationship with them. Cops don't talk hypotheticals. Options:

1. Get him into a mental health placement. He was in group home before. Go back to the agency that helped with that placement and ask for another when he's found. In most cases it then becomes their job to find a bed, not yours. In fact, what has been the case with me is that if you have signed temporary custody to a group home, agency, CPS for purposes of placement that is still in effect while he's missing. So technically when he's found the cops should call them to pick him up, not you.
2. A shelter if available bed or even available shelter.
3. Jail. If he has anything on him (stolen property, drugs) let them arrest him. He'll be there until a hearing anyway. At hearing you can ask judge to order him into some kind of placement or keep him in jail. Depending on the charge, how he pleads, etc the judge might do it. If he's already on probation you can call his PO and ask the PO to get judge to agree to hold him. Have to tell you though, this never got me anywhere... PO isn't interested or judge won't agree when it's only a mental health or sub abuse problem. Presumably if they determined that he's a danger to society they might. But being a danger only to himself they don't get very interested.
4. Hospital. If you can prove a mental health problem, and prior diagnosis is key (based on your profile you don't have one), you can apply for a judge to sign a committment order. So when he's found he's committed for a 72 hour hold.
5. Asking cops to take him to ER for an evaluation is always a possibility. If he's violent when they pick him up they should take him to ER anyway for an evaluation. But often the ER won't admit him. If he needs detox they should admit him. Hospital SW will then get involved in finding a bed for him if they don't admit him.
6. Sub abuse program. If you have one arranged before he's picked up (which is going to be difficult) you can have him taken there. If not, let him stay in one of the other short term options and then get him admitted to rehab. Reason it's difficult for this option is that no place will admit him without interviewing him. I have never talked to a for-profit place that you are going to personally pay for.. maybe they'd admit him without interview? In addition to interview, the rehabs won't talk to you unless you have funding. They don't keep beds open for kids who might be found. No matter what you did beforehand there might not be a bed when he's ready to go.

After 18 I believe the options change as follows:
1. Option gone, you can't force placement.
2. Any shelter is voluntary on his part. If he wants to go they might call around for a bed, at best. But it would be up to him to agree to shelter and possibly to find one.
3. Same. But as an adult judge isn't going to listen to you. You can express your opinion to his lawyer but that's all.
4. Same.
5. Same
6. voluntary on his part. Funding, unless you're paying, is virtually impossible. At best, huge wait for inpatient placement with public or charity funding. There are some rehabs you don't have to pay for, mostly all religion based.

You do need to understand that after 18 the cops won't be calling you if/when they pick him up. He's an adult. If he asks cops to call you they probably will. If they arrest him he gets one call and would have to choose to call you. Hospital, ER or otherwise won't discharge him to you unless he wants that. So at 18 your options are extremely limited unless he voluntarily accepts something. If he's got a criminal charge big enough for a judge to order something he might agree to it rather than prison. I have to disagree that the cops will pick him up or arrest him just because you, cops, everyone knows he's using and selling. They will only pick him up and/or arrest him if they see him doing something or catch him with something on him. Actually, in an effort to help me, local cops would frisk mine every time they saw him on the street. Never caught him with more than cigs, a lighter or a pocket knife. But obviously law to protect citizens/ prevent cops from abusing the system says that they can't pick someone up, hold them or arrest them without evidence. At least as it relates to picking up someone re a criminal issue. And what "everyone knows" is heresay, not evidence.


New Member
I am sorry I have no advice or experience in this area. Will keep prayers in mind that they find your difficult child, and the right opportunities come along to help hime, and give you some peace.



New Member
He was released from jail to my custody with probation. He wrecked our car,ran because he was high,violated his probation and has been reported by others to police to be selling drugs. Since Sunday when this happened I have found out that he is smoking crack. Our entire county has two beds for juvs. They currently have two gun offenders in the beds. We went through mental health and had him admitted to psch hospital for 2 wk evaluation. We were told he didn't belong there. From the hospital to the group home which he ran from. He was then put in Youth Campus (jail) till he passed his GED. Here is what I found out today~ The boy that was running with my son was caught by police and taken to his mother~they couldn't catch my son. When they catch them they can't hold them in adult jails and they must go through a court date (which is of course back logged) to be taken to the Youth Campus. I will try ALL the advice everyone has given. After the other mother cried to me on the phone because she couldn't find anywhere for her son and she was scared he would try to hurt her because she was supposed to supervise him this weekend, I called my son's PO and just very matter of factly said "You know if he is running from the police he is not going to abide by my rules! I have another child at home and he cannot come home!!!" She is the only one that agreed and said they would have to find somewhere for him. The sad part is, it was her supervisor that told me there was nothing they could do and he would be sent home. Thank you all for letting me vent. I will post what I find out.


New Member
That poor other mother being afraid of what her own child will do to her and they can't do anything about it?? That sounds terrible.
I hope when they pick your son up they find someplace for him to go. There has to be another solution. Of course he won't follow your rules and you have another child to think about. They shouldn't even consider him coming to your house. I'm glad you called and made that clear to them, though if there is no place for him to go, they may not have another choice.

I'll be praying for you this weekend, hoping they find him safe, but also have a safe place for him to land, besides your home.


New Member
Hearthope, I'm so sorry. Would a good residential treatment center be something you could afford? Maybe he'd be willing to stike a bargain---go there for 60 days or so, then to a halfway house. Don't know if the criminal justice system would go for that...but its an idea.

I'm praying for your whole family.


New Member
difficult child ran away when we lived in NJ. There was a warrant out for his arrest for theft and aggravated assault and he had a history with the local police. He was 16 at the time. When he was found in Virginia, we were told it was our responsibility to go get him. Failure to do so would result in us being charged with child abandonment. We were told this by the police and our lawyer. They also said he had to come home, even though he had assaulted me and threatened to kill me, because there was nowhere for him to go at that time. My husband at the time said he would go to jail before he'd allow difficult child back in the house, and we would then sue the police department. Once they heard that, they found somewhere to put him. He went to juvie until a spot opened in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). If his coming home is not an option, stand your ground. It's amazing how fast they found a spot for my difficult child once they realized we wouldn't budge.


Active Member
HH, I'm so sorry things are happening this way.

Since you are looking for "resources", have you googled Alabama NAMI? They might be able to point you in a direction that would give you ideas for the future. They may know of treatment centers or programs difficult child can enter in lieu of jail.

I'm not so sure the police will be looking for a 17yr old runaway. Once he turns 18, the ballgame changes. If difficult child get's picked up for something he's basically on his own.

I betcha though difficult child will try and contact you as he will have moved past this and think or want you to have too.

It is so hard in this emotional ridden time to find or think of the best action to take.

Sending gentle hugs and mega cyber support.


New Member
The mom of the difficult child that got caught came over yesterday and we spent hours going through his cell phone bill trying to figure out what they had been doing. The drug dealer's # was all over it. I also know why other mother's that allowed my son to stay at there house never called me. Two mother's contacted this mom to testify in court against us, seems my difficult child had horror stories of abuse and mistreatment to tell these moms and they believed every word. Boy does that stick a knife in and twist it? My difficult child had to live by our rules at home and he figured out if he told these stories he got to live in other homes that didn't have our rules. I am now wondering if the reason we never got a diagnosis is because he was on drugs all along and hid it? I have not called any #'s searching for him, I still have not found a placement and I have nowhere to place him. I will keep searching. Sorry for the scattering of thoughts my brain is like mush from lack of slepp and the emotional rollercoaster ride


Oh my aching back!!
Oh !! I have no advise!!
no ideas..
just want so sit here with you and :tears: with you for a momment...
I hope and pray thing will check out ok for you..